Consumer Behavior From a Cultural, Social Research Paper

Pages: 9 (3397 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 6  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: Doctorate  ·  Topic: Business - Advertising

¶ … consumer behavior from a cultural, social, personal and psychological standpoint are analyzed in the context of globalized brands, social media and the counterbalancing effects of ethnocentrism globally. The implications of social media including Facebook's effects on how brands are presented by actual vs. ideal selves is also included in this analysis (Hollenbeck, Kaikati, 2012). The accumulated effects of social media, the Internet and its acceleration of communication and collaboration, and the continual expansion of brands and their effects on consumer behavior are also discussed throughout the six peer-reviewed articles analyzed. All of these factors together show that the cultural, social, personal and psychological factors influencing consumer behavior are more volatile and quickly changing than ever before, making marketing and selling strategies increasingly difficult to plan, execute, control and measure as well.

Social networking has created a level of real-time collaboration and communication that is also completely redefining how nationalities relate to their nations' own brands relative tot the brands of other, potentially competing nations as well. Economic growth and improved standing globally can make a nation less ethnocentric in their purchasing decisions relative to others for example (Tsai, Lee, Song, 2013). These dynamics are accelerating as a result of social media as well.

Critical Analysis of Consumers' Use of Brands to Reflect their Actual and Ideal Selves on FacebookBuy full Download Microsoft Word File paper
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Research Paper on Consumer Behavior From a Cultural, Social, Personal Assignment

In the study, Consumers' use of brands to reflect their actual and ideal selves on Facebook (Hollenbeck, Kaikati, 2012) the authors show how consumers most often use brands to communicate their ideal selves online. The prevalent of this activity is so pervasive that it can and does often conflict with their actual or real selves. When this occurs, the consumers often experience cognitive dissonance and create multiple Facebook accounts for each of their specific personas or idealized selves or retract posts and information sharing that causes the greatest cognitive dissonance (Hollenbeck, Kaikati, 2012). Respondents in the study looked to mitigate congruence between their idealized and actual selves by choosing brands that further accentuated the positive aspects of their lives while reducing or deleting previous "likes" or entries that led to incongruities in perception projected on social media sites including Facebook. The samples of those who "liked" a specific brand of luxury item yet also talked about shopping at K-Mart or Walmart were considered aspirational shoppers with this behavior online being seen as congruent. The examples of "liking" liquor while also reporting attendance at a Baptist church event were considered incongruent and ones that led to quick deletion of posts (Hollenbeck, Kaikati, 2012).

The study methodology was based on a focus group structure where each respondent had to have a Facebook page that had brands "liked" or designated on it. The researcher completed 23 in-depth interviews with undergraduate and graduate students who had been using Facebook a minimum of one year. The data collection instrument was an open-ended questionnaire that captured the brand "cues" from the respondents and also tracked respondents' friends' activities as well, showing profile activities, likes and routines on Facebook. The respondent demographics include male and female undergraduate college students ranging in age from 20 to 28 with 80% being Caucasian and 10% African-American. 5% were Hispanic and the remaining 5% were Asian.

This study found that a model of behavior modification emerged, showing how respondents evaluated a situation, created an identity decision and then chose corresponding brand linkages as a result (Hollenbeck, Kaikati, 2012). This model was further clarified through the definition of three different personas of the respondent in the situation phase. These three personas were Actual Self, Ideal Self Representation and Ideal Self-Presentation. All three of these elements fed into Congruous Identities and Incongruous Identities (Hollenbeck, Kaikati, 2012). These three phases as part of the Identity Decision phase of the model were directional in terms of which persona a respondent chose to project on Facebook. The Brand Linkages phase captured how the Congruous Identities and Incongruous Identities define which brands are most often used to designate a specific personality trait or core persona value (Hollenbeck, Kaikati, 2012).

Study limitations include the small sample size, control for sampling frame error and the lack of definition for type of brand and their relative strength or valence in each respondents; decision set (Hollenbeck, Kaikati, 2012). These factors make the study interested yet lacking in statistical validity.

Critical Analysis of Price Assessments by Consumers: Influence of Purchase Context and Price Structure

How price is used as a differentiating variable in the marketing mix, including its ordering and use throughout discounting strategies across demographic segments is the intent of the evaluated study. Price presentation order has a very significant effect on the overall perception of quality, and the channels that price is communicated through also have a very significant effect on perception of quality (Diaz, 2013). Supporting the main themes of this analysis are the cultural aspects of how price is a determinant of quality (Diaz, 2013) followed by the communal aspects o sharing pricing and deals found through social media, which has the psychological effect of creating greater bonds across associates and friends (Diaz, 2013).

In defining the study methodology the research concentrated on the hypotheses of price presentation having such a significant impact on price assessment that more profitable prices, when presented first, led to more sales. The determination of the level of value delivered with a given price point is driven more by the motivation to share a valuable deal than to capture it for ones' own use (Diaz, 2013). Respondents showed greater interest in the specific price levels when they could help their friends get a better deal than if they were looking at aspirational brands as well.

Personal interviews were completed during November and December, 2009. A total of 800 respondents were recruited for the study from mall traffic in shopping centers located throughout Seville, Spain. Each of the respondents was entered into a drawing for a 200-euro (about $350) shopping certificate. Respondents were told to report to the Business Administration Building at the University of Seville to participate. Eight total groups were recruited and completed the analysis. Majority of respondents (75%) were in the 18 to 25-year-old age segment, 68% women, 32% men, with the remaining 25% being predominantly women (84%). 78% were students and 22% were working full-time, with the majority 67% having attained a university degree or in the process of earning one.

The study results showed that the related factors to pricing comparison and valuation correlated to price and product preferences, in addition to gender differences between respondents (Rosa, 2006). Women respondents were more motivated to support their friends by finding unique deals and valuable pricing discounts by considering each level of the pricing models shown, while men were more interested in time savings and being as efficient as possible in determining optimal price points (Diaz, 2013). The men in the study also looked at the more granular aspects of the pricing and sought out deals through the use of advanced analysis while women looked at how they could collectively create a preferred purchasing scenario for everyone involved (Diaz, 2013). While this study delivered useful insights, it does have significant limitations including a lack of thorough quantification of how income or purchasing power, age, martial status and social-cultural factors include purchasing over time as well. The study also failed to create a suitable model of inclusion verses exclusion of pricing behavior and pricing preference data based on social networks, which would have been possible by knowing the respondents' social graph.

Critical Analysis of Effects of Various Characteristics of Social Commerce (s-commerce) on Consumers' Trust and Trust Performance

In the peer-reviewed article and research results Effects of Various Characteristics of Social Commerce (s-commerce) on Consumers' Trust and Trust Performance (Kim, Park, 2013) the researchers have created a methodology to isolate which social e-commerce (s-Commerce) factors and characteristics most and least contribute to trust online customer have when buying online.

The methodology is designed to provide an empirical analysis of seven key performance drivers or enables of s-Commerce adoption and growth. The methodology uses the factors of company and brand reputation, company size, information quality, transaction safety, communication, economic feasibility and word-of-mouth (WOM) referrals (Kim, Park, 2013). The researchers are using these seven factors as predictors of overall trust levels with s-commerce. They further define trust performance from a Purchase Intentions and Word of Mouth (WOM) intentions framework. All nine connection points of this analysis have corresponding hypotheses associated with them as well, which fully measures the effects of these factors (Kim, Park, 2013). For respondent recruitment the researchers sent out 2,000 random questionnaires across South Korea, specifically concentrating on those areas with the highest per capita incomes and greatest levels of Internet saturation. As an incentive the respondents were also offered a $20 bookstore gift certificate. A total of 388 respondents were included after filtering out incomplete responses, yielding a 19.4% response rate. Respondent demographics ranged from 19 to 52 years of age with the average age being 31.5 majority were… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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